They say that ink gets in your blood.

People who have worked in the newspaper business understand what that means.

It’s a correct statement, for the most part. It doesn’t matter if you’re a reporter, a photographer, a publisher, in circulation, sales or accounting — the thrill of covering breaking news and the pressure of meeting deadlines just seems to be intoxicating.

Putting out a newspaper is exciting. When it’s finished — go home — there is always tomorrow. 

While planning is necessary in publishing a newspaper it’s the unexpected, the need to chase down something new that keeps the blood circulating and the mind sharp. 

A day at the paper is never the same as the one before. There is always something new and even that is prone to change moment to moment.

One thing is certain. Ink doesn’t go with bright yellow capri pants.

Just ask our circulation manager, Tammy. But wait a few days for her to calm down.

On Thursday, Tammy wore those aforementioned bright yellow pants to work. They were brand new, fresh off the shelf for spring time.

By noon, there was what can best be described as a smeared blob of black ink on the backside of those yellow pants. 

One brave soul asked, “Where did you get it?”

Tammy, with a look that can best be described as a scowl on her face, pointed to a bench on the receiving dock. “There,” she said.

But, then again, she might be wrong.

As is seemingly always the case, she had an idea where it came from but no clear evidence to prove it. By the time she noticed it, Tammy had been throughout the building from her office to the distribution area, in the pressroom and on the receiving dock. 

She had even been in the break room and had used the company van.

Ink, for some unexplained reason, seems to move from place to place as if by magic. It winds up on doorknobs, in sinks, on the floor and on objects in and near the pressroom. It even finds its way to the front of the building where only a slight tremble can be felt and a low rumble heard when the press is going full speed.

Yes, ink gets in one’s blood. On this particular day it had Tammy’s blood boiling.

Ink ruins clothes. Tammy will verify that. Heck, anyone who works here can testify to that. 

It even finds its way to the carpeted and tiled floors far away from the press. It’s been known to show up in the break room,  the conference room in the middle of the building and even in personal vehicles.

Before you can get out — “you’ve got ink” — the person being addressed will respond with “where” and start looking and pulling clothes to see. Yes, ink is a death knoll for clothes. 

There is no such thing as an ink free zone at a newspaper. It’s everywhere, catching a ride on the paper it’s printed on or, like germs, attaching itself to the people who operate the press, sort the papers, pass through the area or handle deliveries. It moves about and leaves its mark on whatever it touches.

Ink it thicker than water. There is no known cure for soiled pants, shirts and blouses though a little GOJO and a lot of elbow grease will get it off skin.

Recently someone asked why the main colors throughout the building are gray whether it be walls, floors or carpet. I had no answer, until now. “Ink at least fades away with the use of a little solvent on a gray surface,” would be my response. 

Not so with yellow. On the bright color, ink looks like a child just made a big boo boo while trying to create a smiley face.



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